Experimental leprosy in rhesus monkeys: transmission, susceptibility, clinical and immunological findings

BOBBY J. GORMUS, KEYU XU, GARY B. BASKIN, LOUIS N. MARTIN, RUDOLF P. BOHM JR, JAMES L. BLANCHARD, PAMELA A. MACK, MARION S. RATTERREE, WAYNE M. MEYERS, GERALD P. WALSH
1998 Leprosy Review  
A total of 46 Rhesus monkeys (RM) was inoculated with My cobacterium leprae (ML) and followed clinically and immunologically for extended periods. Twenty-one (45 ·7%) of the RM developed leprosy spanning the known leprosy spectrum, with six of 21 (28·6%) having disease in the borderline lepromatous to lepromatous area of the spectrum. RM with paucibacillary forms of leprosy produced predominantly 19G anti-phenolic glycolipid (PGL-l) antibodies and positive lepromin skin test and/or in vitro
more » ... and/or in vitro blastogenesis responses; 19M anti-PGL-l predominated in animals with BB-LL leprosy and correlated with negative immune responses to lepromin. 19G anti-PGL-l antibodies persisted in a number of RM for several years without histopathological evidence of leprosy, suggesting possible persisting sub clinical infection. The data show that RM are a valuable model for the study of leprosy. Eleven of the 46 RM were inoculated with ML from sources infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SlV), the monkey counterpart to the human immunodeficiency virus (HlV). The possible effect of SlV on the clinical outcome of ML infection could not be determined due to insufficient numbers of animals to yield statistically significant results. We previously reported that it is possible experimentally to transmit leprosy to rhesus monkeys (RM) (Macaca mulatta) and cynomolgus monkeys (eM) (Macaca !ascicularis). 1 -3
doi:10.5935/0305-7518.19980025 fatcat:xjvdj6wugfexbpv5b43oygytdu